Barbara "Babs" Gordon was once the original Batgirl. Now she goes by the alias Oracle, tech genius and leader of the Birds of Prey.
After his brother and sister-in-law were killed in a car accident (caused by his brother's alcoholism), Gotham police officer James Gordon adopted his young niece, Barbara. Having had a rough childhood up until that point, the girl thrived under his care, and she soon came to think of her "uncle" Jim as her father.
As she grew older, Barbara (Babs to her friends) decided that she wanted to go into law enforcement herself, like her adoptive father. Jim didn't approve of this, not wanting his daughter in such a dangerous situation- and he also pointed out that she likely wouldn't make the height requirement. However, he did agree to allow her to take self karate classes, feeling that she should be able to defend herself if a situation in which she needed to ever arose. She would eventually earn a black belt.
A gifted student with a photographic memory, Barbara graduated high school early at the age of sixteen, and even earned a scholarship to Gotham University, where she majored in Library Sciences and would later graduate with honours.
During her time in university, Barbara continued her studies in martial arts, branching out into Jujitsu. She also began to work as a research assistant at Gotham Public Library part-time, both to earn money to cover costs not covered by her scholarship, and to establish herself in her field of choice (even if it wasn't her first choice- damn height requirements!).
While crashing a GCPD charity function in costume, Barbara stumbled into the life of a masked crime fighter, taking on the criminal Killer Moth under the guise of "Batgirl"- an outfit she'd chosen simply to spite her father. While the incident had been an accident, she found she had a taste for it, and decided to pursue it further.
Despite admonishment from Batman, Barbara refused to give up on what she felt was her true calling. She persisted, intent on proving herself to Batman. Eventually, she succeeded, and Batman accepted her as a member of the "family," and began to work with him and Robin on a regular basis for several years.
But good things always come to an end. Barbara was forced to hang up the cowl, when the Joker, intent on destroying her father's sanity, shot her. She survived, but the bullet caused irreversible damage to her spinal cord, leaving her a paraplegic.
She sunk into a deep depression for some time, feeling that she was no longer able to help anyone. But, she soon found a way around her physical limitations. Putting her vast intellect, photographic memory and computer skills to use, she became the mysterious digital information broker known as Oracle, providing tips, guidance and surveillance to the world's superheroes.
She even began to recruit her own agents- an all-female group of vigilantes known (unofficially) as the Birds of Prey. While the roster has changed a few times, she's kept the same core members, who have become a second (or third) family to her.
Control. Freak. Barbara Gordon does not like being pushed (both figuratively and literally- her chair has no handles at the back), ordered around or giving up control in any way. Everything in her life is neat, ordered and planned to the second.
She is stubborn. Extremely stubborn. She stood up to Batman and didn't give up until he accepted her as a colleague. She also proved herself loyal enough to be trusted by the Dark Knight- no easy task.
She's prone to tunnel vision, often forgetting little things like food and fresh air when there's a system that needs to be hacked, a database that needs to be updated or a crime that needs to be investigated. While she may seem like something of a hermit at times, she needs human interaction, and the support of her friends and family. If anything, someone has to remind her that it's 8 PM and she hasn't eaten since that granola bar for breakfast.
And as much as she likes people to perceive her as a very pulled-together, professional woman who has accepted her limitations and worked around them, there is still a part of her who is unsure of herself. This is a factor in her tendency to let her personal (and especially her romantic) life simmer on low on the back burner. Yes, her work as Oracle eats up most of her time and energy, but that self doubt plays into her decisions as well. Even before her injury, she had moments like this. Once upon a time, she was a geeky, freckled, flat-chested sixteen year old whose cop father had to pressure one of his co-worker's sons into taking her to the prom. That sort of thing stays with a girl, and being stuck in a wheelchair certainly doesn't help.
Computer Genius: Simply put, Barbara is not a hacker so much as /the/ hacker. Internet forums full of code-breakers and script kiddies debate the very existence of "the Oracle," and outside of stories from the geek-elite of virtual encounters, there's almost no real evidence to back up the digital urban legend.
Combined with the over-the-top-of-the-line computers she uses, there's almost no network or system she can't slip into undetected.
Martial Arts: Barbara was an excellent hand-to-hand combatant as Batgirl, and she didn't let the loss of her legs change this. She's trained under Richard Dragon and others, learning to fight from her wheelchair. She's mastered a handful of different fighting styles, and keeps a set of eskrima sticks hidden under the arm rests of her wheelchair. Training, physical therapy and years of using her wheelchair has given her significantly above-average upper-body strength.
Investigation: Growing up the daughter of one of Gotham's Finest, listening in on her dad's conversations and hanging around the police station as well as being mentored by Batman, combined with her genius-level intellect and photographic memory made Batgirl quite the detective
She still uses these skills as Oracle, though the clues are now hidden in files, IP addresses and data trails, as opposed to fingerprints and shell casings.
Strategy: As the leader of the Birds of Prey, Oracle knows which operatives to send where, when to send them, and what orders to give when they're there. She always plans ahead, and (usually) knows what steps to take when plans A through Z fail.
Academics: Barbara has a Masters degree in Library and Information Science from Gotham University. In her work as Oracle, her skills in sorting through and making sense of mass amounts of information has come in very handy. She can also "shush" like no one's business.
Photographic Memory: Barbara never forgets anything. As a student, this made studying and pulling in excellent grades despite spending many a night jumping around rooftops as Batgirl a breeze. Now, it allows her to recall codes, encryption keys and other sensitive information that she doesn't want to risk storing anywhere people can find it.
Information: If knowledge is truly power, than Barbara may just be the world's least-known major superpower. She reads dozens of newspapers and news websites from around the world daily, committing what she reads to memory. She also has dozens of scripts constantly searching for and gathering information from both public news sources online, as well as the databases of the FBI, CIA, Interpol and NSA, all without the agencies' knowledge or consent. She also has keylogging programs and backdoors installed in the computer systems of various criminals for digital surveillance. If and when anything important or relevant comes up, her system notifies her.
Contacts: Oracle has many online contacts, from fellow hackers to low-level criminals to employees of law enforcement agencies who feel that corruption and/or bureaucracy is tying their hands with certain cases, and are desperate for someone to do something about them. If her usual methods of information gathering fail, she can call on one or more of these contacts, none of whom know her as Oracle.
Income: Oracle runs her operations with a combination of JLA funds, money taken from the bank accounts of the very criminals she helps to fight (always taken in amounts small enough to go unnoticed), and a network of legit, fully operational cover businesses (mostly computer-based). While on paper, Barbara Gordon may not be worth that much, Oracle has access to enough funds to keep her HQ running, her operatives well paid, and to regularly upgrade her computer and security systems.
The Clocktower: The Birds of Prey operate out of the Clocktower, a secret HQ filled to the brim with over-the-top-of-the-line technology- supercomputers, holographic display interfaces, even a virtual reality simulation room.
The Clocktower also has a custom-designed security system that's nigh-impossible to pass through without clearance. Unexpected visitors will find themselves facing a series of false entrances, traps and alarms that even Nightwing was able to get through without being caught.
Connections: Oracle has strong connections throughout the superhero community, as well as a good name and trusted reputation, even if very few actually know the name and face behind the screen name and avatar. While she can certainly call on prettymuch any cape-wearing crime-fighter for assistance, these relationships are nothing compared to other ties...
Bat-Family: The bonds that Barbara developed as Batgirl weren't severed when she became unable to wear the cowl. While she and Batman have certainly butt heads on occasion, and her relationship with Nightwing is complicated, to say the least, she is still very much a member of the "Bat-Clan," and even serves as a mentor to new recruits.
Paraplegic: Barbara's spinal cord was severed by the Joker's bullet, leaving her paralyzed for life. While she is capable of living independantly, the physical limitations that this causes her on a daily basis are fairly obvious. She cannot walk, obviously, and requires special equipment for many everyday tasks.
Tunnel Vision: Barbara is extremely goal oriented, and has a tendancy to put everything else aside until she achieves this goal. This means she'll often forget to do things like, oh, eat or run more mundane errands if she thinks something is important enough. This is a constant source of frustration for people who are close with her.
Secrecy: Barbara is, like her costumed hero friends, constantly living a dual life. No one but her most trusted operatives, her "Birds of Prey," know who the woman behind the online psuedonym. Living like this is obviously quite stressful, especially when keeping these secrets from loved ones, such as her father.
Logs Including OracleEdit
2010-08-15: Running in to Old (Dead) Friends : Barbara nearly has a heart attack when she sees an old ally. Then runs in to Dick's supermodel ex girlfriend. All in all a great day.
2010-08-16: You'll Never Guess Who I Saw Yesterday: Babs tells Batman about her experience in the coffee shop. Minus the part about Kory.
2010-08-23: Cassandra Learned a New Word!: Oracle and Nightwing try to help a very upset Batgirl.